Freedmans celebrate Special Scone success

4 min read
The Freedman brothers are back in business, with Richard and Michael Freedman combining to land the Listed Darley Scone Cup with front-runner Special Missile (Smart Missile).

Less than a week after forming their new training partnership, Richard and Michael Freedman not only secured their first win, but it came in the $180,000 feature race of first day of the two-day Scone carnival.

Michael Freedman returned from stints in Singapore and Hong Kong just six months ago, initially linking with Ed O'Rourke before deciding to partner with Richard at Randwick from last Friday.

"It’s a big thrill. It's been 15 or 16 years since Richard and I have been in business previously," Michael said after the win. "To come back and team up with him and have this horse win the Scone Cup, it’s a big thrill."

Jockey Sam Clipperton and Michael Freedman after winning the Listed Scone Cup

The pair were part of the four-strong Freedman brothers, (or FBI) outfit that was a dominant force in Australia in the 1990s and early 2000s under Lee Freedman's name. Lee now trains in Singapore while the other brother Anthony has had multiple Group 1 successes in his own right in recent years from his stable in Victoria.

Clipperton gives the perfect ride

Given a perfect ride from Sam Clipperton, who himself has only been back in Australia a couple of months after a spell in Hong Kong, Special Missile showed plenty of courage setting a strong pace throughout before holding off the Matthew Smith-trained Fierce Impact (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) with the outsider Goldstream (Ity) (Martino Alonso {Ire}), finishing third.

Freedman said that while the 1600m was some query for Special Missile, he backed Clipperton to rate him so he could win the race.

"That was our biggest query. I knew the horse was in good form, but I just had that slight query with him at the mile," he said.

"Sam rode him to perfection, rated him perfectly and he's been lumping some big weights the last few starts and given a lovely ride in front, he did well."

"That's his natural racing style is to be up there rolling along. I'm a bit speechless, to do it with my brother and being our first one together, hopefully it’s the first one of many to come."

Clipperton always had every confidence in Special Missile to get the distance, except perhaps for the final few strides.

"I knew the horse was in good form, but I just had that slight query with him at the mile." - Co-trainer Michael Freedman

"He jumped so well and I was so happy with how he was going. He likes to roll along at his own tempo. He had his ears pricked and he was just in a beautiful rhythm. I thought I was going to be in front for a long way, the only thing was just the mile," he said.

"Coming into the straight he gave me a great kick. I tried to nurse him for as long as possible. The second horse came at me on the line and I wasn't sure if I held on, I had my eyes closed, but a really good effort by the horse."

"He's been very well prepared by Michael, I rode him last start and he ran a good second, and we knew next time he was going to the Scone Cup and would be hard to beat."

Sam Clipperton aboard Special Missile

It was Clapperton's second win in the race having guided Cameo (Shamardal {USA}) to victory in 2014.

"We knew next time he was going to the Scone Cup and would be hard to beat." - Jockey Sam Clipperton

Special Missile was bred by Greg Perry and sold to Bill Mitchell for $180,000 at the 2015 Magic Millions Sale. Raced by the Chung family, he becomes Smart Missile's ninth individual stakes winner and the first from his imported dam Quiet Meadow (USA) (El Prado {Ire}}.

Quiet Meadow has only had one other foal get to the track in Australia, the three-time winner Red Sensation (Flying Spur). She has a yearling filly by Deep Field and visited More Than Ready (USA) last spring.